1. Themes
  2. A to Z
  • Click to view this Photograph

    Watha Wurrung - '23', courtesy of Sovereign Hill Gold Museum.


Watha Wurrung - '23'

Mysteriously labelled ‘23’ this photograph shows a group of sixteen Indigenous people classified as ‘some remnant of the Watha Wurrung people in the Ballarat District.’ Apart from the two men holding boomerangs, the subjects in the photograph are presented in western dress.

Stretching from Fiery Creek and Ballarat in the North, to Werribee and Aireys Inlet, along the Barwon River and across the middle stretch of Mt Emu Creek, the land of the Watha Wurrung (Wathaurong) was heavily impacted upon by the Victorian goldrushes.

Many Indigenous people moved into the Framlingham Reserve and the government station at Coranderrk near Healesville. Despite social dislocation however, the Watha Wurrung demonstrated their continued cultural presence with a Corroboree near Lake Wendouree in 1867. Their presence continues in the Ballarat region to the present day.

Physical description

Black and white magazine photographic print of an Indigenous Group. Reverse is numbered ‘23’. The men are standing, 2 hold boomerangs and are in Western dress. The women are sitting and are wrapped in blankets. According to Ian Clark in ‘Monash Publication in geography No. 37’, this photograph is of ‘some remnant of the Wada Wurrung [Watha Wurrung] people in the Ballarat district.’ 13.1cm x 20cm

Collection Number: 376.79
Archival Source
Ballarat Historical Society Photograph Collection; Sovereign Hill Gold Museum. Details
Published Source
Lydon, Jane, Eye contact: photographing Indigenous Australians, Duke University Press, London, 2005. Details
Philip Batty, Lindy Allen and John Morton (eds). The Photographs of Baldwin Spencer. Melbourne: The Miegunyah Press in Association with Museum Victoria, 2005.
Courtesy Sovereign Hill Gold Museum


  1. Click to view this photograph


Prepared by: Ben Mountford